Our Pacific Exchanges team recently hosted a special Financial Inclusion and Beyond live virtual event moderated by Sean Creehan, the team’s lead for financial health and inclusion, that explored lessons from around the world in the use of technology and public policy to build more inclusive financial systems and drive financial health. Regular listeners of the podcast will recognize these voices from their episodes throughout the season; the live virtual event allowed them to discuss how they were managing the challenges to inclusion posed by the COVID pandemic.
In episode nine of Financial Inclusion & Beyond, we spoke with Grovetta Gardineer, the Senior Deputy Comptroller for Bank Supervision Policy at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. We discussed lessons learned from the COVID crisis, financial inclusion challenges here in the United States, as well as the role public policy and regulation should play.
In episode eight of Financial Inclusion & Beyond, we spoke with Tracy Basinger, the recently retired head of supervision at the San Francisco Fed. We get into examples of innovations promoting inclusion and challenges for regulators and who want to minimize risks while not getting in the way of positive change. And we talk about shifting from a historical mindset focused on preventing exclusion to one that thinks about promoting financial health and wellbeing.
In episode seven of Financial Inclusion & Beyond, we spoke with Matt Homer, Deputy Commissioner of the Research and Innovation division of the New York State Department of Financial Services. We get into the benefits of inclusive technology, but also the potential for digitization to exclude some vulnerable populations and the unexpected challenges policymakers and firms face in delivering new financial services to people that previously lacked access.
In episode six of Financial Inclusion & Beyond, we spoke with Chris Calabia, the Senior Advisor for Supervisory and Regulatory Policy, Financial Services for the Poor, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We sat down to discuss how to drive financial health for the world’s poor by improving access to essential financial services through better public policy and regulation.
In episode five of Financial Inclusion & Beyond, we spoke with Ting Jiang, a behavioral economist who researches and designs products for behavioral change. At the time of this recording, which took place before the pandemic, Ting was associated with Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight. We sat down to discuss the way behavioral scientists and product designers work together to build better financial products that help people take action to improve their financial health.
In episode four of our series Financial Inclusion & Beyond, we spoke with José Quiñonez, the founding chief executive officer of Mission Asset Fund (MAF). José talked to us about how MAF is helping those that have typically been left out get integrated into the formal financial system. MAF is drawing on the rich tradition of lending circles to help the low-income and immigrant communities develop a credit history and join the financial system.
In episode three of Financial Inclusion & Beyond, we spoke with Arjuna Costa, managing partner of Flourish Ventures, a leading social impact fund focused on financial health. Arjuna invests in entrepreneurs around the world to catalyze innovations that help people achieve financial health. We sat down to discuss the way entrepreneurs are harnessing the power of behavioral economics and customer-centric design to meet the everyday financial challenges of low income populations.
In episode two of our series Financial Inclusion & Beyond, we spoke with Greta Bull, the chief executive officer of CGAP, an expert in development finance, primarily focused on small and medium enterprise finance, microfinance, and digital financial services. We discuss the history of financial inclusion efforts around the world and the evolution of the financial inclusion movement, the micro and macro effects of inclusion, and lessons learned from various efforts around the globe.
Today we begin a new series, Financial Inclusion & Beyond, an exploration of what we can learn from global efforts to build a more inclusive financial system. We begin with San Francisco Fed president Mary Daly and talk about why the Fed cares about financial health and inclusion, how we’re engaging and learning from a community of subject matter experts and the general public, and the significant work ahead of us.
We are thrilled to announce a new season, Financial Inclusion & Beyond, launching on April 15. This 9-episode series is an exploration of insights from around the world in the use of technology and public policy to promote financial health and inclusion. Here is a preview.
In this episode of Rethinking Asia, we spoke with Chad Bown, Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Chad is an expert on trade, having worked on the issue at the World Bank, the White House Council of Economic Advisors, and the World Trade Organization. We discussed the recent trade disagreement between South Korea and Japan. While, rooted in the countries’ deep historical, political, and social tensions dating back to the early 20th century, the attitudes and tactics adopted in the dispute reflect broader global tensions surrounding trade.
In this episode, we sat down with Nick Lardy, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Nick is one of the world’s most prominent analysts of China’s economic development and the role of its private sector in generating growth. We sat down to discuss Nick’s new book, The State Strikes Back: The End of Economic Reform in China? Nick walked us through some troubling statistics about the Chinese private sector’s diminishing role as measured from a number of data sources and qualitative indicators of slowing economic reform.
In this episode of Rethinking Asia, Brad Setser, a senior fellow for International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, discussed the evolution and recent trends in capital flows across Asia. In the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, flows were driven by current account surplus countries. Recent divergence in global interest rates, economic developments, and a search for yield have spawned a complex web of flows across the Pacific.
We continued our series on fintech in Asia with Toshio Taki, the co-founder of Money Forward, a Japanese fintech firm, and director of an association that promotes open APIs in Japan. Toshio talked about the open banking and API landscapes in Japan, comparing Japan to global peers. Toshio is pushing for greater adoption and integration of financial technology services among Japanese clients, and looking to shift Japan from its reliance on cash.
In this episode, we continue our ongoing Rethinking Asia series with Louis Kuijs, the head of Asia Economics at Oxford Economics. Louis’ career has focused on banking, macroeconomic, and policy issues in China. We spoke to Louis about the trade U.S.-China trade tiff. He shared his thoughts on economic and structural effects of evolving international trade patterns, China’s path to further integrating into the global financial system, and broader consequences for the U.S.-China relationship.
In this episode of our series Rethinking Asia, we spoke with Ken Hokugo, head of Corporate Governance and the director of Hedge Fund Investments at Japan’s Pension Fund Association, with more than $120 billion in assets under management. Ken is a strong advocate for Japanese corporate governance reform. Ken discussed the challenges Japan faces implementing corporate governance reform. Ken showed how cross-shareholdings and lack of independent directors are rooted in historic and structural factors and dampen enthusiasm for Japanese stocks.
In this next episode of our series Rethinking Asia, we pick up where we left off last episode looking at the role of debt in China’s economy. We spoke with Charlene Chu, a senior partner for China macro-financial research at Autonomous Research, an independent research firm. Well known for her analysis of China’s shadow banking industry, Charlene previously was a senior director covering Chinese financial institutions at Fitch Ratings.
In the next two episodes of our series Rethinking Asia, we look at the issue of China’s rising debt. In this first episode, we spoke with Yukon Huang, a senior fellow with the Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Yukon walked us through the recent growth and composition of China’s debt, and why he is more worried about the structural issues behind the debt than the overall level.
In this episode of Rethinking Asia, we spoke with Frederic Neumann, Managing Director and Co-Head of Asian Economic Research at HSBC. Our exchange began with the complex economic dynamics at play between China and ASEAN members. We learned why intra-Asian trade is expected to increase as more trade agreements are signed within Asia, and how Belt and Road investment can best help Southeast Asian economies.
In this episode of Rethinking Asia, we interviewed Kathy Matsui, vice chair of Goldman Sachs Japan. She is a prominent advocate for women in the workforce and serves as a policy commentator for Japan’s Cabinet Office. Kathy guided us through the factors that have led to the current gap between the high skill and education levels of Japanese women and, in many cases, their absence from full-time work.
In this episode, we interviewed Simone di Castri, the Managing Director of the RegTech for Regulators Accelerator (R²A). R²A is a new initiative to help financial authorities harness innovative technologies and advance promising RegTech solutions. Simone described R²A’s collaboration with financial authorities in Mexico and the Philippines is helping central banks better understand markets and customer needs in data-rich environments.
In this episode, we interviewed David Hardoon, the Chief Data Officer of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. We spoke with him about the innovative uses of machine learning and big data among banks and the financial system. We covered why regulators and institutions must be concerned with the ethical use of data in new AI applications, and how algorithms can help or hinder financial inclusion.
In this episode, we interviewed our colleague Sean Creehan, a senior analyst in the Country Analysis Unit. We asked him about a recent paper he wrote on the role of small businesses in Asia. We covered why SMEs receive a disproportionately small share of credit from the financial system, and how fintech and new innovations can boost SME financial access and overall economic growth.
In the fourth episode of Rethinking Asia, we interviewed Matthew Goodman, the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). At CSIS, he leads the Reconnecting Asia program, which tracks how infrastructure is shaping economic and geopolitical realities in Asia. Our discussion touched on Asia’s huge demand for new infrastructure, the complex geopolitical tensions among regional and multilateral actors, and China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
In our third episode of our series Rethinking Asia, we spoke with Andy Rothman, an investment strategist for Matthews Asia. Prior to joining Matthews Asia, he worked for 20 years in China, and now uses that experience to shape the firm’s thoughts on China from an investment perspective. Andy helped us understand the future of Chinese growth, its current state of domestic consumption and China’s efforts to rebalance away from investment and exports towards consumption.
In the second episode of our series Rethinking Asia, we spoke with Manoj Pradhan of Talking Heads Macro in London. He’s an expert in the relationship between demographics and capital markets, looking at how aging and labor force changes impact everything from global interest rates and wages to inequality. Prior to his current role, he worked as a macroeconomist at Morgan Stanley.
Today we launch a new series, Rethinking Asia, as we consider noteworthy and unusual trends in Asian finance and economics. In our first episode, we sat down with Jesper Koll, head of Japan at WisdomTree, a global asset manager. In our conversation, Jesper discusses in depth the history and forces behind Japan’s distinction as a safe haven for global investors. He explains why assets like the yen and Japanese government bonds rally during periods of regional or global turmoil.
In the final episode of our series on the Asian financial crisis, we take a look back at key themes and takeaways from our conversations. We also discuss Nick’s recent research paper on Asian bond market developments since the crisis.
In this episode of our series on financial technology, we sat down with Souheil Badran, president of Alipay North America. Alipay is the payments spinoff of China’s ecommerce giant Alibaba and is now part of Ant Financial, the largest fintech company in the world.
In this episode of our series on financial technology, we sat down with Katie Macc, co-founder and chief operating officer of Juntos Global, a fintech company that serves as a bridge between financial access and financial inclusion for the world’s newly banked. Kate tells us about the ways technology can help solve many of the problems facing the unbanked around the world.
In this episode of our series on financial technology, we sat down with Kate Lauer, an expert in microfinance, financial inclusion and global financial regulation. At the time of this interview Kate was a senior policy advisor at CGAP, where she was researching the impact of regulatory sandboxes on fintech and financial inclusion. Kate recently became the Head of Global Regulatory Strategy at PayPal.
In the eighth episode of our series on the Asian financial crisis, we spoke with Don Hanna, a prominent international economist who has advised investors on Asia for over three decades. Don has worked as an economist at a variety of global financial institutions and multilateral organizations and lived in the region for 16 years. He has written extensively on Asia’s economic and financial development since the crisis.
In the seventh episode of our series on the Asian financial crisis, we spoke with Barry Eichengreen, a professor of economics and political science at UC Berkeley. He’s written extensively about the sequencing of financial opening in Asia and the challenges associated with cross-border capital flows. He’s also authored numerous articles looking back on the lessons from the Asian financial crisis.
We spoke with Supavud Saicheua, Head of Economic Research at Phatra Securities, about Thailand’s role in the Asian financial crisis. In our conversation, Supavud discusses the economic and financial risks that developed in Thailand during the 1990s and how they led to the crisis. He also explains how the Thai economy has changed in the decades since the crisis and what risks remain today.
Continuing our series on the Asian financial crisis, we spoke with Changyong Rhee, Director of Asia Pacific Department at the International Monetary Fund. He provides a unique perspective on how the Asian financial crisis impacted South Korea and how Asian economies have evolved since the crisis.
Continuing our series on the Asian financial crisis, we talked with Simon Johnson, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He previously served as the Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund and has written numerous articles on both the Asian Financial Crisis and the global financial crisis.
In the third episode of our series on the Asian financial crisis, we talked with Andrew Sheng, a Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Global Institute. Andrew has worked as a central banker, financial regulator, academic, and advisor to numerous Asian financial organizations. He had firsthand experience of the Asian financial crisis when he was serving served as the Deputy Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
In the second episode of our series on the Asian financial crisis, we talked with Gillian Tett, U.S. managing editor of the Financial Times. Gillian was based in Asia at the time of the crisis and witnessed it spread across the region. In the interview, she relays her experience in Asia in 1997 and how it helped her spot warning signs ahead of the 2008 global financial crisis.
In the first episode of our series looking back on the Asian financial crisis, we interviewed David Dollar, a senior fellow at the Brooking Institution. David worked as an economist at the World Bank for 20 years, focusing on a variety of Asian economies. He also served as the U.S. Treasury’s economic and financial emissary to China, based in Beijing.
In this episode of our series on financial technology, we sat down with Ning Tang, founder and CEO of CreditEase. Ning has been a leader in the development of China’s peer-to-peer lending industry and has a unique perspective on the impact of fintech worldwide.
Continuing our series on financial technology, we sat down with Jason Loughnane, microfinance specialist with Accion International in Myanmar. Jason is an expert on the potential for mobile payments and other financial technologies to promote financial inclusion in emerging markets.
Asia is currently in the midst of a fintech revolution, with new technologies and startups threatening to disrupt the banking sector in economies across the region. In this episode of Pacific Exchanges, CAU analyst Cindy Li sat down with Nicholas Borst and Sean Creehan to discuss their recent paper on fintech developments in Asia.
Shadow banking has grown quickly in China, driven by regulatory arbitrage and the growing role of non-bank financial institutions in the financial sector. In this episode of Pacific Exchanges, we sat down with our colleague Cindy Li to discuss her recent paper on shadow banking in China.
In the fifth episode of our series on financial technology, we sat down with Zhong Wang, Head of Strategy and Overseas Payments for Baidu Wallet and Payment Services. We invited Zhong to speak with us about why payments innovations are occurring so rapidly in China, the competitive threat that new payment companies represent to banks, and how developments in payments may impact other parts of the Chinese financial system.
In the fourth episode of our series on financial technology, we sat down with Anju Patwardhan, a Fulbright Fellow researching fintech at Stanford University who previously served as the Chief Innovation Officer for Standard Chartered Bank. We invited Anju to speak with us about her experiences managing fintech activities at a bank, the potential for collaboration and competition between fintech start-ups and traditional banks, and her research activities at Stanford.
In the third episode of our series on financial technology, we sat down with Shuhei Aoki, Executive Strategist at Hitachi. We invited Shuhei to speak with us about the reason non-financial companies are getting involved in FinTech and how the space is impacting Asia and places like Hitachi’s home market of Japan.
In the second episode of our series on financial technology, we sat down with Sacha Polverini, a Senior Program Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. We invited Sacha to speak with us about the challenge of financial inclusion in Asia and how fintech can make a difference.
In Episode 1, we sat down with Sopnendu Mohanty, the Chief Fintech Officer at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). We invited Sopnendu to speak with us about the role of fintech in Singapore’s financial system and the central bank’s approach to encouraging innovation while managing risk.